Canzonetta spiritual sopra alla nanna – Hor ch’è tempo di dormire

Composer: Tarquinio Merula (b. 1595 - d. 1665)
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Composer: Tarquinio Merula (b. 1595 - d. 1665)

Performance date: 29/06/2014

Venue: St. Brendan’s Church

Composition Year: 1638

Duration: 00:08:51

Recording Engineer: Richard McCullough, RTE

Instrumentation Category:Trio

Instrumentation Other: S-solo, vc, lu

Artists: Kate Hearne - [recorder/cello]
Fredrik Bock - [lute]
Maria Keohane - [soprano]

the light-hearted Su la Cetera amorosa, this
work is part of the tradition of miniature dramatic scenes or rappresentazioni sacre. This particular
work is a shorter canzonetta that explores in almost brutal fashion the
connection between the birth of Christ and his Passion, it is a cradle song
with a difference.

sings a cradle song for her newborn son while breast-feeding him, but this song
assumes she has the terrible knowledge of her child’s fate so her song becomes
a lament where she abandons herself to harrowing visions of his future
suffering. The rocking motion as she cradles her child is represented by an
unusual ground bass in triple time that uses only two notes; it seems to lull
Mary into a trance-like state. She gazes at the features of her new-born son
and sees instead his hands and feet pierced by nails, his head torn by thorns
and his side stabbed by a spear. Eventually the baby sleeps and the mother
grows silent.